Written by Kimberley Startup | September 10, 2013
Did you know 30% of new starters don’t receive a formal induction, according to a recent new starter survey by Webrecruit?
Inductions are absolutely paramount for new starters to ensure they are happy, settle in quickly and productive in their new role.
It’s more than just providing skills & software training. It includes the basics that existing staff take for granted, such as health & safety, knowing where the toilets are, when their lunch break is and what to do if they call in sick. It’s about understanding the company’s goals and values, as well as their expectations. And of course, knowing the job they’re required to do.
A well planned and delivered induction programme offers endless benefits including:
– Engaging and motivating new and existing employees
– Improving employee retention rates and reducing turnover costs
– Positively influencing existing staff involved in the induction process
– Smoothly & successfully integrating the new starter into the company
– Maximising morale throughout the team, thus raising performance levels
– Receiving feedback and ideas from new hires looking at the company through ‘fresh eyes’
As someone responsible for new employees, it’s your responsibility to ensure that induction training is properly planned and implemented. New starters who are not properly inducted need a lot more looking after, so it pays dividends to provide a good induction programme.
Here are 5 things to consider to help you to deliver a show-stopping, all encompassing induction programme that is guaranteed to wow any new starter.
1. How long is your induction process?
The length and nature of your induction process will entirely depend on the complexity of the job role and the new employee’s background. One size does not fit all, and a standardised induction course is unlikely to satisfy anyone.
Based upon the results of Webrecruit’s (www.webrecruit.co.uk) latest survey, the following table illustrates the average induction time for new starters dependent on their level of seniority.
2. How will you deliver your induction process?
Induction processes can be designed and delivered in all sorts of shapes and forms, as long as they’re practical, friendly and interactive. Inductions always include some fairly dull but necessary subjects so aim to be as creative as is practically possible to add variety and interest.
Some examples of training methods include on-the-job training, mentoring, presentations, reading, meetings, video, internet, e-learning and shadowing.
Webrecruit’s survey found the following methods were most popularly used when delivering induction training.
3. Make your new starter feel welcome
We’ve all experienced those first-day jitters when embarking upon a new career with a new company. For many, it’s like the first day of school: will you make the right impression? How will you know your way around? Will people like you? And what if you don’t fit in?
As a result, it’s of paramount importance that you ensure your new starters feel welcome and comfortable in their new environment whether that’s buddying them up with someone or providing a dedicated point of contact for the new employee to turn to.
It may sound like a very obvious thing to do, but just to put it into perspective, we asked 326 new starters ‘on a scale of 1 – 6, how welcomed did you feel on your first day and week in your new job?’ (6 being extremely welcome and 1 being not welcome at all)? And this is what they said:
4. Involve senior managers & directors
Whether this is done through welcome speeches or getting senior staff to join the new hire during lunch, by involving managers & directors in the induction process, it will show that you value your staff.
A friend of mine recently told me, following 2 years in her current job as an Events Manager for a high-profile company in London, she was recently approached by her director who said ‘Don’t I recognise you from somewhere?’. While it’s easy to laugh something like this off, the feeling of appreciation and value within the organisation quickly diminishes.
Unfortunately, hiring managers are still to recognise the importance of involving senior staff within the induction process. In fact, Webrecruit’s survey revealed just 51% of new starters completed an induction process that involved senior managers & directors.
5. Ask for feedback
Lastly, if you want your induction process to be a true success, it’s absolutely vital that you take the time to scrutinise your induction process by analysing the performance and retention of new starters through the induction and beyond.
One of the best ways to do this is by asking the new starters how they found the induction and any ways in which they feel it can be further improved. Only a mere 18% of survey respondents were asked for their feedback following an induction process. Yet how can you ever learn if you don’t ask?
More often than not, employers get induction programmes wrong, opting to parade the new hire through the office, shouting names and job functions as they go along while everyone sits back and stares. Not to mention the endless mass of information that is expected to be absorbed through boring PowerPoint slides and little coaching or support.
But by following these 5 key steps, you will strengthen relationships between senior management and employees, develop stronger internal communications and make your staff feel valued.
New starters are the future of your organisation and it’s important to make sure you are treating them as such.